Thursday

20th Jan 2022

Merkel allies keen to curb EU powers

  • EU commissioners: too many for the Bavarians' taste (Photo: European Parliament)

German Chancellor Angela Merkel's Bavarian sister party, the Christian-Social Union (CSU), plans to call for fewer EU commissioners and less new EU legislation in next year's European Parliament elections.

"We need a withdrawal treatment for commissioners intoxicated by regulation," the party's four-page election strategy paper - seen by Der Spiegel and due to be adopted in January at a CSU congress - says.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Become an expert on Europe

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or subscribe as a group

The draft text adds that a new court should be established to rule on disputes between member states and the European Commission.

It says the "competences court" should be composed of constitutional judges from member states.

Germany's own constitutional court, in Karlsruhe, has become a feared body in the EU decision making process after granting the Bundestag new powers on EU bailouts and eurozone economic governance.

The idea of reducing the number of EU commissioners is a long-standing CSU demand.

Currently, the college of commissioners comprises 28 members, one from each member state.

By comparison, the German government has 16 ministers, while the French has 21 and the British has 22.

The CSU also wants more "national referendums" on EU topics and a return of competences from Brussels to nation states in the areas of the "over-regulated single market and regional policy."

With local elections in Bavaria coming up in March, two months before EU elections, the CSU is aiming to appeal to voters with slogans which criticise "Brussels bureaucracy" and economic migration from eastern EU countries.

The CSU's views are not entirely shared by Merkel's larger Christian-Democratic Union or her coalition partner, the Social-Democratic Party.

But for his part, SPD politician and European Parliament chief Martin Schulz on Sunday told Tagesspiegel it may be "reasonable" to shrink the college of commissioners, so long as the goal is for the commission to become more efficient.

Schulz is tipped as the European Social Democrats' lead candidate for the next EU commission President.

The new grand coalition in Germany has improved his chances of getting the post.

Magazine

Bavarian elections spell trouble for Merkel

Merkel's sister party, the CSU, has won regional elections in Bavaria, but her Liberal coalition partner fared poorly in a bad omen for the Chancellor.

MEPs to declare EU an LGBTI 'freedom zone'

The symbolic move is an attempt to buttress against right-wing governments' increased scapegoating of LGBTI people, particularly in Poland and Hungary.

News in Brief

  1. MEPs call for full-scale election observers in Hungary
  2. Nato membership 'very unlikely' on her watch: Finland's PM
  3. Germany investigates Green leaders' Covid-bonuns
  4. Officials surprised by Macron's call for seperate EU-Russia talks
  5. Commission to withhold EU funds from Poland in mine row
  6. 'Patriotic millionaires' call for wealth tax at virtual Davos
  7. Borders must not be moved by force, Scholz warns
  8. MEPs demand public consultation on gas and nuclear

EU adds new 'dark red' zone to travel-restrictions map

The European Commission has proposed additional measures to limit non-essential travel within and to the European Union - amid fears over more transmissible mutations triggering a new surge in cases across the bloc.

Latest News

  1. Macron promises strong EU borders
  2. MEPs to crackdown on digital 'Wild West'
  3. Macron calls for new security order and talks with Russia
  4. Macron's vision will hit EU Council veto buffers
  5. Hydrogen - the 'no-lose bet' for fossil-fuel industry?
  6. Tomorrow MEPs can end EU animal export horror show
  7. An EU-Africa 'equal partnership' must tackle past and present
  8. Metsola becomes youngest EU Parliament president

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us